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Author Topic: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde  (Read 2294 times)

Grey

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Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« on: 01 March 2016, 05:03:32 »
First off apologies for the extreme lateness, well documented personal issues have had me down lately, but I'm fighting back and getting this out there is a key part of it, hopefully quality has not suffered too much in the process.

Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
Who: Diana
   Aka Diana Pryde
What: MechWarrior, Jade Falcon Guards
   Star Colonel, Jade Falcon Guards
When: 30?? (presumably circa 3030) – 22 January 3073
Weapon of Choice: Warhawk Prime
         Nova A
         Studded leather gloves

The second of two prominent freeborn warriors in Clan Jade Falcon, and like Horse this prominence is in part due to Aidan Pryde, unlike him Diana has managed to stake her own claim to fame, though it appears the Falcons and the Clans at large have chosen to largely forget her.

Much of that fame rests around her winning a Bloodname, but more on that later, in the eyes of the reader just as much is attained for being Aidan Pryde’s daughter.

This means nothing in the Clans, less than nothing in fact, whoever her parents she is Freeborn, lineage only matters if you came from a vat.

Which is rather nonsensical, but real or fictional cultures only have to make their own, sometimes convoluted, internal sense, contradictions are something only outsiders see.

And the reader is an outsider, remember that novels and stories with Clan protagonists are automatically novels and stories with alien protagonists, the culture, mind set and therefore approach to matters is just too different.

Technically speaking her claim to a Bloodname is valid, maternally she is of the Pryde bloodline, though Peri was never a warrior. In some respects it resembles the same claims of the first generation of warriors after Operation Klondike.

That being said it flies in the face of all Clan tradition, but that’s in keeping with her father’s ways. Not that many outside of her support circle will admit that either.

Which means that overall Diana is an awkward character within the setting. She is well executed so that label does not apply in the literary sense, or in, but she sees herself as more than Freeborn, mirroring the attitude of her father during his early career where he knew he was a Trueborn in disguise. Though few would agree with Diana on this distinction.

And like her father she keeps racking up successes, meaning victory which is all to Clans but victories that do not sit well with anyone in the Clans.

All the same it would be a mistake to think of her as a clone of Aidan, in the literary sense, in the biological sense she may as well be, but instead think of her as a continuation of Aidan.

Iconoclast, inadvertent revolutionary, someone who doesn’t quite belong but would still rather not be anywhere else.

Overall Diana is the kind of character who by her existence is a complication. It is seen in her first novel that she is certainly one for her father, Aidan, she comes into his life just as it has reached, what is for him at least, a form of stability. He has a command, a Bloodname, he is still looked down upon but he is in a position to take action and use his skills to their fullest.

Diana, presumably, would be a scandal of sorts. True, there was never any issue for Jamie Wolf’s father, but that was the more liberal Clan Wolf, and in this case it would be more of a ‘What has Aidan done now?’

Also she is a potential complication for Aidan personally, unlike many Jade Falcons he has built and maintained close personal ties, they are what drew him to Peri in the first place, and they are what kept him bound to Horse and Joanna.

How he would react to Diana’s parentage is something that hangs over the novel, he is far from the traditional trueborn and thus might take something more of an interest in her, especially since ever since their meeting they have both found an odd attachment to each other.

Would the rest of the Clan turn on him for this latest oddity? Would he do something iconoclastic? Would he be affected in any way by the news? Would he sacrifice himself at a critical moment for her because she was his daughter? Did he?

That latter is a question that is unanswered, Aidan was starting to move to defend her, whether he would have done so to the death without the sudden reveal is an evolution of the question. We will never know.

So in some respects Diana fails as a complication for Aidan. The reader expects something to come of it, but nothing really does, not for Aidan at least, and yet it does not feel like a loss. The Aidan/Diana relationship is very one-sided and focuses on Diana.

Had he been told sooner then Aidan would have been a factor, in this case not.

Is this a wasted plot thread? Possibly, again only in terms of Aidan. For Diana the relationship, never truly formed, affects her entire career. So not wasted entirely? A matter of opinion.

So the relationship is a complication for her while Diana is more of a complication for others. Just ask Ravil Pryde, even Marthe, Horse and Joanna. And more or less anyone who ever found her father a challenge.

In terms of ‘Mechs Diana is surprisingly diverse, well, we see her pilot an Assault and a Medium.

One of the first scenes of the grown, warrior qualified Diana is during a Trial of Possession for a Warhawk, which as far as I know she kept in the Prime configuration.

The Warhawk has, at the time, an aura of being one of the most potent Assault ‘Mechs in existence thanks to the targeting computer, and the fact it has four Clan PPCs. Realistically it is a murder machine, heat notwithstanding.

And oddly, though smaller, faster, more manoeuvrable, the Nova A is a downscaled version. Both designs have heat issues, though an intelligent pilot/player can manage these efficiently. This also means they require an eye towards manoeuvre that cooler running machines wouldn’t consider.

In short these are not brutish designs. The Warhawk is more durable and accurate, the Nova more manoeuvrable and faster, considering the nature of battles in Trials of Bloodright the Nova makes considerable sense, and since Diana faces off against Perigard Zalman who is in a Battle Cobra it puts her on an even footing.

Why bother with that? It avoids the scandal of a cheating Freebirth in a bigger ‘Mech pounding the snot out of a Steel Viper Khan. Battle Cobra vs. Nova? That’s an even enough match for the story.

Is it right, after all her achievements, Tukayyid survivor, Coventry veteran, Freeborn Bloodname winner, Incursion participant, Freeborn Star Colonel and lasting into the Jihad at least as long as many other prominent names, that she be more or less forgotten?

Short answer is no, she’s done too much, and we the readers are not about to forget her or anything she has done. In fact we may even sigh a little as she represents a direct assault on the long held Clan mind set of Freeborn being inferior just for being Freeborn. She did everything a Trueborn could, more in fact when you consider that statistically most Trueborn don’t make it to Warrior status and proportionally fewer still attain a Bloodname.

Unfortunately we have to contend with the setting being, well, reset. The Falcons are needed as short-sighted, bloody minded traditionalists, aggressive, unthinking, uncaring and so utterly impenetrable as to be a juggernaut culture.

Learning anything at all, least of all the lessons Diana exemplifies, flies in the face of that, so she is forgotten within the setting. We don’t even know if her genes were passed on, normally a given for a Bloodname winner.

So the long answer is ‘Huh?’ The traditionalist Jade Falcon answer to anything they don’t want to think about or otherwise consider.

Sadly this carries on to the manner of her death, in The Donner Bombing, one of many of a long list of notables right as her career should be proving quite a few long held Clan assumptions wrong, and just when she would have maximum opportunity for prominence.

Guess why she had to die.

Like many among the victims she was just too good not to be pivotal in a war where one man had to be more pivotal than anyone else. The need to put previous unknown Devlin Stone in the centre of prominence means that there has to be a drastic culling of any significant individuals already established.

Similarly, given that there has been a grand reset of sorts and the Jade Falcons have more or less chosen to forget anything that would have led to growth in order to preserve the faction character Diana has to die before she achieves things too important to ignore or side-line.

It’s brutally, horribly unfair. Such is the lot for Freeborns in the Clans. Similarly from a reader perspective it’s unfair, however the fiction is not required to be fair and is dictated by other concerns.

There are a myriad other ways she could have died, most of them of course involving glorious combat, she could even have gone on to become a Paladin for the Republic, the possibilities are quite limitless.

But the Jihad is brutal, uncompromising, and many of great potential fall before fulfilling it, this is another way of demonstrating that.

Whatever your feelings and however much the setting may have buried and forgotten her Diana Pryde made an impact upon the readers, which is everything that can be asked of a character.

mikecj

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #1 on: 01 March 2016, 11:20:07 »
Good one thanks.

I wonder what happened to the clones/retreads Peri found.
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blitzy

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #2 on: 01 March 2016, 16:30:54 »
Good one thanks.

I wonder what happened to the clones/retreads Peri found.

Me too.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #3 on: 02 March 2016, 02:38:31 »
Ah yes, the character who brought down a khan and, though her mech was actively falling apart around her, caused the rest of the Steel Vipers to up and run away from the Inner Sphere completely.

I can't help but wonder what might have been had Archer Christifori chosen to keep her as a bondswoman instead of releasing her after the Falcon Guard were (again) destroyed.  Can't really see her as being able to readily adapt to life in the Inner Sphere.
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Nav_Alpha

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #4 on: 02 March 2016, 02:46:57 »
Good one thanks.

I wonder what happened to the clones/retreads Peri found.

Lead poisoning I'd guess. Lethal doses administrated behind the ear in 9mm format


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SteelRaven

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #5 on: 02 March 2016, 02:55:02 »
Diana Pryde is a interesting character thanks in part to her circumstance (hard to say any other freebirth got as much support as Diana) and her success (as a Freebirth) One could say Diana would have open doors within the Clan if it wasn't for the Donner bombing ... but the assassination untimely death Marthe Pryde tells us that Diana would have simply meet her fate by other means.

The Clan fell back to their traditional Crusader ways... which lead to the creation of Malvina Hazen, the complete opposite Diana Pryde in every way.

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Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #6 on: 02 March 2016, 05:35:05 »
Actually I was thinking of trying to cover the clones in the next article, which will be on Joanna.

Sorry, can't remember how to spell her name at the moment, will try for better in the article.

Diana herself could have been more than just a Jade Falcon I feel. Not because she was as iconoclastic as her father, but because she was so traditional. If taken as a bondsman she would have done everything she could to adapt. It's not a strange situation for her, in fact it's quite a familiar one, being in a place where she has to prove herself to others because of her background. I guess there's a power in never quite belonging.

Cannonshop

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #7 on: 02 March 2016, 15:25:04 »
Diana Pryde is a interesting character thanks in part to her circumstance (hard to say any other freebirth got as much support as Diana) and her success (as a Freebirth) One could say Diana would have open doors within the Clan if it wasn't for the Donner bombing ... but the assassination untimely death Marthe Pryde tells us that Diana would have simply meet her fate by other means.

The Clan fell back to their traditional Crusader ways... which lead to the creation of Malvina Hazen, the complete opposite Diana Pryde in every way.

That's one interpretation, the other is that Diana was the last gasp of healthy genetics in an overbred, in-bred gene pool, the sort that produces Nihilistic lunatics like Malvina.
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Wrangler

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #8 on: 02 March 2016, 19:08:49 »
Thank you for the write up on Diana Pryde.

I think she was cut down in her prime before she could truly shine.
She had potential, she could have been Khan given enough time.  But Donner bombing was waste on her, she had conducted a successful campaign with rebuilt Falcon Guards against the Ice Hellions.

Her Bloodname Trials were interesting, given her Nova OmniMech was reconfigured as a hybrid of A Configuration and the Prime.  Replacing her AMS with Active Probe if i was remembering right. 

True, there was never any issue for Jamie Wolf’s father, but that was the more liberal Clan Wolf,

Woah, where that from? I've never heard anything regarding Jamie Wolf's father before.

Thanks again for another intriguing look at the characters that populate the Battletech Universe, Grey.
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Maelwys

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #9 on: 02 March 2016, 19:54:47 »
I don't think Diana and Malvina are complete opposites. In fact, they're the same with regards to them being the ultimate expression of the Clan's "might is right." Diana got her shot because she's Aiden's daughter and Marthe Pryde felt like exploring the possibilities, but Diana continued because she won and then kept winning. And that's all that matters.

Avitue

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #10 on: 03 March 2016, 03:48:09 »
Speaking of Joanna, one has to wonder if the notable crew for the Gurzil from 3145 might be an ancient, limping, well-past-her-expiration-date, full of rage solahma...

Van Gogh

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #11 on: 03 March 2016, 11:32:13 »
Thanks for the article, I always found Diana interested in the way she moved her stories.

Some thoughts on names... I sometimes mis-read Diana as DNA, which is ironic for a freeborn clan warrior in a society where DNA is everything. Aidan (same letters: A, I, D and N) reads as ADN, French for DNA. Then we have Nadia (the bratty clone)... always A, D, I and N.
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grimlock1

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #12 on: 04 March 2016, 20:33:31 »
Speaking of Joanna, one has to wonder if the notable crew for the Gurzil from 3145 might be an ancient, limping, well-past-her-expiration-date, full of rage solahma...
I wouldn't be shocked. Joanna is powered by hate and caffeine.
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MoneyLovinOgre4Hire

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #13 on: 04 March 2016, 20:35:04 »
I thought it was hate and fusioners.
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Grey

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Re: Character Study of the Week: Diana Pryde
« Reply #14 on: 05 March 2016, 02:56:27 »
Funnily enough when I started writing the Joanna article Anger was the first thing listed as her weapon of choice.

In a strange way I think Diana, and quite a few others, had to die in the Civil War and Jihad because they had so much potential to be great and game changing to various societies and factions. That's pulp science fiction for you, the protagonist is always important in that manner. And of course Battletech fiction at the time was bouncing all around the universe, meaning there were dozens of these important people scattered all over the place, a situation that didn't fit with what the setting was becoming.